Please check back periodically for updates to the Artist list.
Entering its twenty-eighth season, the American Horn Quartet continues to be unique in the field of brass chamber music. Their exuberant performances have brought audiences all over the world to their feet. In 1982, four American horn players who were working and residing in Europe met for the first time to explore the potential of the horn quartet, a chamber music formation with a much longer tradition than most people realize. Mastering the already existing repertoire, they then began to compose and arrange, as well as commission new works for the horn quartet. The individual members of the AHQ are all very successful soloists in their own right, having won top international competitions in Geneva, Prague, New York, Passau and Munich. It comes then as no surprise that together they brought home top honors at chamber music competitions in Barcs, Hungary (Philip Jones Competition), Brussels and Tokyo.
Over the past twenty years, besides being featured at horn and brass festivals around the globe, the American Horn Quartet has established itself at regular chamber music concert series on the international circuit. They have also appeared as soloists with numerous symphony orchestras, among them the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Illinois Philharmonic, the Philharmonica Hungarica, the Brabants Orchestra of Eindhoven and the Bordeaux Aquitaine Symphony Orchestra in France, just to name a few.
Some of the highlights of the AHQ career include their performance on stage at the Barbican in London, an appearance with orchestra at the world famous Tonhalle in Zürich, a recording collaboration with the horn section of the New York Philharmonic, a recital in Melbourne, Australia featuring the great horn soloist Barry Tuckwell in a cameo appearance, performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and a five-minute standing ovation at the 20th International Horn Society Workshop in Tallahassee, Florida.
Summing up the career of an ensemble which has accomplished so much, presented over five hundred concerts and masterclasses world wide, and has produced ten CDs, is a difficult task indeed. Therefore we invite you to discover the American Horn Quartet for yourself. www.hornquartet.com
Born and raised in Australia, Andrew Bain was appointed to the Chair of Principal Horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic by Gustavo Dudamel in May 2011.
Prior to moving to LA, Andrew was the Principal Horn of the Melbourne Symphony. He has also held the positions of Principal Horn of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Münchner Symphoniker and the Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra and Associate Principal Horn of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. From 2003-2012, he was the Principal Horn of the Colorado Music Festival.
A regarded solo artist, Andrew has appeared as a soloist with with the Melbourne Symphony and Queensland Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, Music in the Round Festival and has performed Schumann’s Konzertstück at the Colorado Music Festival and with the Colburn Orchestra in Los Angeles. In 2013 Andrew made his Solo debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Dudamel.
Andrew is proud to be the Horn Professor at the Colburn School Conservatory. While in Australia, Andrew worked with the Horn students at the Australian National Academy of Music, University of Melbourne, Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music and Sydney Conservatorium. He has also given master classes and lectures at the Pacific Music Festival, UCLA, Royal College of Music London, Guildhall School London, Manhattan School of Music, Elder Conservatorium, Queensland Conservatorium, Shanghai Conservatory and Colorado Music Festival.
Throughout 2014, Andrew presented masterclasses at the San Francisco Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Julliard School, and McGill University in Montreal. He also appeared as guest Principal Horn with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Esa Pekka Salonen.
This Summer, Andrew's schedule included presenting recitals and masterclasses in Poland for the Sinfonia Varsovia Academy, returning as guest Solo Horn with the Berliner Philharmoniker, playing at the La Jolla Summerfest and teaching and playing at the Aspen Music Festival and School including a performance of the Schumann Konzertstück. He was also performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.
In addition to music, Andrew loves traveling, cooking and exploring LA with his beautiful wife, Rupal. If he’s not working, you will most likely find him on the golf course trying to improve his handicap. www.andrewbainhorn.com
Ethan Bearman joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic horn section in 2008 and has performed, recorded, and toured extensively with the orchestra. Recent recording projects include Deutsche Grammophon recordings of Mahler symphonies 6, 8, and 9 with Gustavo Dudamel and a 2013 Grammy award-winning series of Brahms symphonies. Performances on tour regularly take him to stages throughout Europe, Asia, the US, Canada, and South America.
Bearman grew up in southern California studying with his now-colleague Brian Drake of the LA Philharmonic. After studies with Eli Epstein of The Cleveland Orchestra, he found himself in Ithaca, NY while his wife was completing veterinary school at Cornell University. Asked to join the Cornell/Ithaca College faculty new music group Ensemble X, he performed modern chamber works in collaboration with distinguished composers such as Steven Stucky and Roberto Sierra.
Returning to Los Angeles in 2002, Bearman embarked on a career performing as a guest with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Pacific Symphony, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Kennedy Center Opera, and contributing to film and television recordings. During this time he started a family and began mastering the craft of auditioning for orchestras while raising young children. His unique path informs a class he is developing that will teach practicing efficiency a!nd preparedness techniques for entrepreneurial and otherwise over-extended musicians.
Bearman's teaching includes both private students and those completing a special Master's program offered jointly by the LA Philharmonic and the Longy School of Music in Boston. He has conducted master classes in the US, Japan, and Venezuela. When not performing, Bearman enjoys skiing, traveling, eating good food, and spending time with his boys, Owen and Eli, and his wife, a veterinarian in downtown Los Angeles.
Principal horn, emeritus, of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from February 1966 through June 2013, Dale Clevenger has been a versatile musician in many areas, including chamber music, jazz, commercial recordings, film music, and solos. His mentors were Arnold Jacobs and Adolph Herseth.
Before joining the CSO, Clevenger was a member of Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony of the Air directed by Alfred Wallenstein; he also was principal horn of the Kansas City Philharmonic. He has appeared as soloist with orchestras worldwide, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim. He has participated in many music festivals, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; the Florida Music Festival in Sarasota; the Marrowstone Music Festival in Bellingham, Washington; and the Affinis Music Festival in Japan. He also participated in the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. In addition, he has worked with the European Community Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado, and participated in several International Horn Society workshops. He was in Karlskrona, Sweden at the BIBA Brass Week. For over 16 years he has given Master Classes throughout Italy, notably in Santa Fiora, Milan, Brescia, Reggio Emilia, and Florence with the Italian Brass Week.
He has given recitals and master classes throughout the world: Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico, Canada, and Israel. In the USA, Curtis, New England Concervatory, Boston University, New England Conservatory of Music, and Rice University in Houston.
Dale Clevenger is the featured soloist on several CSO recordings, including works by Martin, Schumann, Britten, and Mozart. He also played on the Grammy Award–winning recording The Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli with the brass ensembles of the Chicago, Philadelphia, and Clevelandorchestras. He has recorded the horn concertos by Joseph and Michael Haydn with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra of Budapest, as well as all of Mozart’s horn concertos. The Mozart recording was named Record of the Year in Hungary, and both recordings were nominated for Grammy awards. Clevenger also performed with Barenboim and colleagues from the CSO and the Berlin Philharmonic in Chicago and Berlin on the Grammy-winning CD of quintets for piano and winds by Mozart and Beethoven. With Barenboim and Itzhak Perlman, he recorded Brahms’s Horn Trio for HD TV, laser disc, and Sony Classical CD. He performed on the Tribute to Ellington CD with Barenboim and other members of the CSO, and he has recorded Strauss’s First Horn Concerto with Barenboim and the CSO. John Williams wrote a horn concerto for him, which he premiered in 2004.
For seventeen years, Clevenger played almost regularly with the group EARS, Jazz of All Eras. In 1985, he received an honorary doctorate from Elmhurst College.
He currently is Horn Professor of Practice at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. His discography, just with the CSO, numbers in access of 650 recordings during his 47 year career as principal horn.
Also a conductor, Dale Clevenger served as music director of the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra for fourteen years. His conducting career has included guest appearances with numerous other orchestras, including the New Japan Philharmonic, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Roosevelt University Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Conservatory Orchestra, the Northwestern University Summer Symphony, the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, the Osaka Philharmonic, the National Philharmonic of Slovakia in Bratislava, the Sinfonia Crakovia and the Opole Philharmonic in Poland, and the Bartlesville (Oklahoma) Symphony Orchestra. Recently, he conducted the Valledolid (Spain) Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim as soloist. Also, he conducted the Lyceo Orchestra in Barcelona and the National Orchestra of Spain in Madrid.
Clevenger is married to Giovanna Grassi of Brescia, Italy. Together, they play lyric opera concerts and New Years Day concerts. They enjoy traveling in Italy, visiting new places together, mostly new for Dale. They are also enjoying cooking together and eating at interesting places wherever they travel. They have many friends, extended family, and animals in Italy and America. They are building a new home in Mocasina, Calvagiese near Lake Garda. www.daleclevenger.com
Originally Stefan Dohr learned to play the viola. One day he was given a hunting horn, and, after hearing a concert by the famous horn player Hermann Baumann, he came to the conclusion: "That horn sounds better than my viola!" After studying in Essen and Cologne he became principal horn of the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra, and engagements followed with the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester of Berlin before, in 1993, he finally became a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker. As a soloist he has collaborated with such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, Christian Thielemann, Daniel Harding and Claudio Abbado.
Along with the Classical and Romantic horn repertoire, he is also interested in contemporary works by Ligeti, Knussen and Kirchner. He has had a number of pieces composed for him, such as the ‘Montafon’ concerto by Herbert Willi which he premiered in 2008, as well as a horn concerto by Johannes Wallmann (2010) and Toshio Hosokawa's ‘Moment of blossoming’ (2011). The latest concert, dedicated to Stefan Dohr by German composer Wolfgang Rihm, will have its world premiere at the Lucerne Festival 2014. Another of his central preoccupations is chamber music, in which he appears not only in various ensembles with his Philharmonic colleagues but also with Maurizio Pollini, Lars Vogt, Kolja Blacher and Ian Bostridge. In addition, he is a member of the Ensemble Wien-Berlin and the Berlin Philharmonic Octet. Stefan Dohr, who prefers to spend his free time in his family circle, teaches as a visiting professor at Masterclasses all over the world. www.stefandohr.com
Brian Drake grew up in Akron, Ohio, where he was awed by the Cleveland Orchestra’s children’s concerts, inspiring him to learn to play the French horn. He attended the Eastman School of Music, winning a national audition for Second horn of the Rochester Philharmonic immediately upon graduation. While in Rochester, Brian also worked in Eastman’s instrument repair department. He was a student of Milan Yancich and Verne Reynolds and also studied wind chamber music with the legendary French flutist Marcel Moyse in Marlboro, Vermont.
Chosen by Carlo Maria Giulini, he joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1979 as Fourth horn and was appointed Third horn nine years later. A versatile hornist, he has played every chair in the section, serving as acting Second horn and acting Associate Principal horn as needed. With the 2014-15 season, he returns to his roots on Fourth horn, glad to once again be providing the bass note to the horn section.
Brian considers himself fortunate to have worked with many great musicians including Giulini, Boulez, Leinsdorf, Bernstein, Ligeti and Lutoslawski, and to have had the chance to travel around the world with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on tour.
He has taught on the faculties of California State University Los Angeles and Chapman University where he performed solo concerti with their orchestras as well as faculty solo recitals. He has also taught for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and performed on the Green Umbrella (New Music Group) and Chamber Music Society series. In addition to his private teaching studio, he enjoys encouraging young brass players by leading sectional rehearsals at high school and college levels.
Brian’s hobbies include hiking with his Norwegian Elkhounds, listening to traditional Irish music and making “tin” whistles.
Genghis Barbie, the leading post post-feminist feminist all-female horn experience, is the most innovative and energizing chamber ensemble of its generation and beyond. With a combined 24 years of conservatory training, Genghis Barbie delivers to you a visceral and unadulterated musical adventure. Performing arrangements of pop music from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and today, contemporary commissions, and classical works, they are the most versatile and expansive group on NYC’s classical/pop/rock/ jazz/indie/alternative/punk/electro-acoustic scene. Genghis Barbie was incepted in a unique moment of ingenuity when Freedom Barbie, Cosmic Barbie, Velvet Barbie, and Attila the Horn converged and vowed to create distinctive, interactive and personal performances.
In addition to their busy New York City performing schedules, the ladies of Genghis Barbie have appeared as Contributing Artists at the 2011 International Horn Society Symposium in San Francisco, played Schumann's Konzertstück with the Southern Methodist University Wind Ensemble and the Holland (MI) Symphony Orchestra, and appeared on America's Got Talent. In May 2012, Genghis Barbie made their Carnegie Hall debut in the premiere of a new concerto for four horns, commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony. As educators, they have toured numerous universities presenting workshops, masterclasses, and lectures on musical entrepreneurship. They have released four studio albums: the self-titled debut album, the holiday album “Genghis Barbie: Home for the Holidays,” “Genghis Baby: Songs for Noa,” and the newly released “Amp it Up!” Genghis Barbie aspires to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres show within one calendar year.
I assembled what would become the Big Phat Band in mid 1999 with the intention of recording a record and nothing more. I wanted to document the music I was writing for the big band genre, but no way did I want to hassle with doing live gigs and all the logistical problems and phone calls and…no way. But around the time of the release we got a call to play a concert at my alma mater Cal State University Northridge. I remember some of the guys had doubts we could even get through a whole concert of the charts I had written. But we did, and not only did the audience love it, we had a blast. For a bunch of session musicians, playing for a live audience again was intoxicating. It reminded me of why I started playing music in the first place, because the life of a session musician can get to be fairly isolated. You rehearse the cue, record the cue and move on to the next, and you don’t hear it again until the film comes out months later. But here you had a live audience, reacting in real time! Not only reacting but interacting with the musicians! So, with that fun experience resonating in my mind, I started to dip my toe into the water and attempt to get some gigs for the band. Which was easier said than done. But little by little we built the organization and the band slowly started to congeal and get a sound of its own, a sound based on the talents of these fine musicians and whatever assets I could bring to my charts.
It started to become apparent to me that not just anybody could be in this band. Of course you needed to have top level musicianship, that went without saying. But I started to see that you also needed a certain personality to stick in the BPB. You needed guys that were willing to subdue their egos for the good of the band. You needed to be willing to dedicate yourself to the ensemble, to have pride and ownership in being a part of a tight-nit group. And you also needed to love the genre enough to lose money once in a while to play it! Hopefully not too often, but let’s be honest, marketing this kind of music is a bit of an uphill climb nowadays. While a few very fine players fell out of the band as we were getting started, our personnel has basically been pretty stable over the past decade. And I’ve found that even when a change is made, the band benefits and things get a little fresher again.
The guys listed below are, to a man, absolute virtuosos. They can sight read almost anything, which is a good thing since we rarely get to rehearse. They are masters of any style of music, from swing to pop to classical. And they are all complete knuckleheads, with quick minds and lively senses of humor. And finally, and this is most important to me – they have an optimistic view on life and are mindful of what a gift it is to play music. It is this last that permeates everything we play and we try never to take it for granted.
Meet the great musicians of the Big Phat Band.
TRUMPETS: Wayne Bergeron, Dan Fornero, Bob Summers, Dan Savant, & Willie Murillo
SAXES: Eric Marienthal, Sal Lozano, Brian Scanlon, Jeff Driskill, Jay Mason, & Kevin Garren
TROMBONES: Andy Martin, Charlie Morillas, Francisco Torres, Craig Gosnell, & Jason Thor
RHYTHM: Andrew Synowiec, Bernie Dresel, Rick Shaw, & Joey DeLeon
Don Greene was a champion springboard diver who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He trained in the Army as an Airborne Ranger and served as a Green Beret before retiring as a captain. He earned his doctorate in sports psychology from U.S. International University in San Diego. His dissertation demonstrated that the focusing technique of Centering significantly improved the performance of police SWAT officers involved in stressful shootings.
After more than a decade of training Olympic and professional athletes how to perform well under competitive pressure, he began working with classical musicians. In 1995, two of his new musical clients won auditions for the Houston Symphony (horn) and the Chicago Lyric Opera (mezzo-soprano). The transcriptions of his phone sessions preparing these artists to win led to his first book: Audition Success.
In 1997, Dr. Greene began working with four horn players preparing for a Met Orchestra audition. Of the 59 candidates, his clients came in 1st. 2nd, 4th, and 5th. Dr. Greene was invited to teach at The Juilliard School and the New World Symphony. His second book, Performance Success, was an outgrowth of his graduate classes at Juilliard and a series of master classes at New World, Curtis, Michigan, Oberlin, Yale, and Northwestern. By then, his clients had won more than 200 professional auditions for major orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and Broadway productions.
More recently, Dr. Greene completed Performance Mastery as an E-book and produced the Centering Training Series. In these three videos, Dr. Greene teaches the Centering technique to classical musicians in a series of progressive steps. He also completed cutting-edge research on performance enhancement using the Performance Skills Inventory (PSI) with students at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
Dr. Greene currently works individually with performing artists in Los Angeles, as well as doing one-on-one phone/Skype sessions and master classes. www.dongreene.com
For Stefan de Leval Jezierski there were two good reasons to change from the trumpet to the horn: he was infatuated with the way the larger instrument sounded and looked. Moreover, the wind orchestra of his school needed a horn player; his favourite composer, Mozart, wrote more for the horn than for the trumpet; and, not least, the professional prospects with this instrument seemed better. The native Bostonian was trained at the North Carolina School of Arts and by Myron Bloom at the Cleveland Institute of Music. During his studies he was already performing in concerts and on tours with the Cleveland Orchestra. Before he took the high horn position with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 1978, he had spent two years as principal horn of the Kassel Staatstheater. As a soloist and chamber musician, Stefan de Leval Jezierski appears at leading international music festivals in Europe, Asia and North America. He is one of the founding members of the Scharoun Ensemble of Berlin. In addition, he has taught for a number of years in the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker and as honorary professor at the Shanghai Conservatory. Jezierski has a jazz band, has played for over 20 years on the tennis team of the Grunewald Tennis Club, and is also greatly interested in art.
Tim Jones is one of the most sought-after horn players of his generation. He is currently solo horn of the London Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 1986.
Working with many of the most prominent conductors spanning over 35 years in his career. Mr. Jones started playing the horn at the age of 15 and 2 years later won a position playing in the Munich Philharmonic at the age of 17. Having been invited to play solo horn with many of the world`s greatest orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic, Mr. Jones has also held positions with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Academy of St. Martins in the Fields.
Mr. Jones has appeared as a soloist at many of the worlds most prestigious venues and Festivals including the Salzburg Festival, the Pacific Music Festival and many international halls including the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican Hall and the Schausspielhaus in Berlin. His recording of the Kenneth Fuchs Horn Concerto premiered and recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, was nominated for a Grammy Award.
An active chamber musician Mr. Jones has collaborated with Andre Previn, Christoph Eschenbach, Heinz Holliger, Martha Argerich, Gil Shaham, Yuri Bashmet.
Mr. Jones is Professor of Horn at the Royal College of Music and is Director and co-owner of the renowned horn company PAXMAN Limited.
David Krehbiel has been a quintessential orchestral horn player, and he is passing on that experience in clinics, a CD, conducting, and teaching. In addition to playing principal horn in the San Francisco Symphony for 26 years, Dave was Chair of the Brass Department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is a founding member of the Summit Brass as a player and conductor.
Dave was born in 1936. He took his first music lessons on the trumpet in his hometown of Reedley, CA. He was in the eighth grade when he heard his future teacher, James Winter, play, and from then on, he knew that the sound of the horn was the sound he wanted to make. "Recently, I unpacked a horn I hadn't used for a while and out came this smell of an old brass instrument, moldy and musty. Instantly I was back in school again, opening a case for the first time, seeing this magic thing I was going to make sounds with."
He spent three years at Fresno State and played with the newly formed Fresno Philharmonic. During these years, he spent summers pumping gas at Yosemite National Park. "Every night I would take my horn up to Mirror Lake. The sound would float across the lake and reflect off Half Dome and seem to fill the whole valley. This was Horn Heaven."
His teacher suggested that he transfer to Northwestern University in his fourth year to study with Philip Farkas, who was then principal horn of the Chicago Symphony and had been Winter's teacher. A few months later, he won a position as assistant principal with the Chicago Symphony and remained there for five years, being elevated to the position of co-principal horn under Fritz Reiner. He left Chicago to become principal horn of the Detroit Symphony and nine years later, in 1972, went back to California as principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony.
While with the Detroit Symphony, Dave and Tom Bacon (also a member of the orchestra) played in a rock group, Symphonic Metamorphosis, which recorded twice for London Records and played a concert with the Detroit Symphony.
In addition to his position at San Francisco Conservatory, Dave has been on the faculty at DePaul University, Wayne State University, San Francisco State, Fresno State, Northwestern University, and most recently at The Colburn School. He is a former member and conductor of Summit Brass and Bay Brass. He has taught and conducted at the Music Academy of the West for ten years. He has conducted members of the San Francisco Symphony in special concerts, including a performance commemorating the first anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. In 1998, the National Academy of Recording Art and Sciences presented him with a special award in honor of his many musical contributions to the community, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music named him Professor of the Year. He is also involved with the educational activities of the New World Symphony in Miami.
Dave has been a soloist with many orchestras. His CD, Orchestral Excerpts for Horn on the Orchestral Pro Series with Summit Brass, has been a boon to horn students everywhere.
Dave has contributed articles to The Horn Call and was interviewed for the February 1997 issue. He was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2008.
Julie Landsman is one of the most distinguished performers and teachers of our time. She held the position of Principal Horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for twenty-five years until her retirement in 2010. She now enjoys a wide variety of musical activities, including performances with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
A former member of the Houston Symphony, Ms. Landsman has performed as a guest artist with the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra in San Diego, New York Philharmonic, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. She has also performed as a chamber musician at many festivals and concert series, including Marlboro Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival,La Jolla Summerfest, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she appeared as a guest artist with the Guarneri Quartet. This coming summer she will perform and teach at the Music Academy of the West, and the Aspen Music Festival.
World renowned as a master teacher, Julie Landsman holds teaching positions at the Juilliard School and Bard College, and teaches frequently as a guest at the Curtis Institute. She has given master classes at such distinguished institutions as Colburn School, Curtis Institute, Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, University of Oklahoma, and University of Southern Mississippi. She is a visiting master teacher at the New World Symphony in Miami.
Her students hold positions in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera and Ballet Orchestras, Dallas Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, and the Colorado Symphony, American Brass Quintet. She recently received the “Pioneer Award” from the International Women’s Brass Conference and was a featured artist at the International Horn Society Conference in 2012.
Australian born Horn player Peter Luff is Associate Principal Horn with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Deputy Director (Performance and Engagement) at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and Vice President of the International Horn Society.
As a professional Horn player, he has performed with orchestras and ensembles that include the Australian World Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, State Opera Orchestra of South Australia, Opera Factory of Zurich and the Queensland Wind Soloists. He was also a founding member and solo Horn of the internationally acclaimed chamber ensemble Southern Cross Soloists who have performed in America, Canada, Japan, China, Korea, New Zealand and broadcast and recorded extensively with Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Classic FM radio.
Aside from his current teaching position at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Peter has been a guest lecturer at the Australian National Academy of Music, University of Arkansas (USA), Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Singapore), Korean National University of the Arts, Shandong University (China), University of Queensland School of Music, Queensland University of Technology, Central Queensland University and the University of Southern Queensland.
In 2010 Peter was the host of the 42nd International Horn Symposium, held for the first time in Australia. It was at this symposium that the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society presented him with the prestigious “Punto Award” to recognise his major contribution to the art of Horn playing.
Grammy Award winning artist Jennifer Montone joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as principal horn in 2006. She is on the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School. Previously the principal horn of the Saint Louis Symphony and associate principal horn of the Dallas Symphony, Ms. Montone was an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University, and performer/faculty at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Prior to her tenure in Dallas, she was third horn of the New Jersey Symphony and performed regularly with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic.
Ms. Montone has performed as a soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the National Symphony, the Polish National Radio Symphony, the Warsaw National Philharmonic, and the Curtis Orchestra, among others. Her recording of the Penderecki Horn Concerto,"Winterreise" with the Warsaw National Philharmonic won a 2013 Grammy Award in the category of "Best Classical Compendium". Other recordings include "Still Falls the Rain"- works of Benjamin Britten. She regularly appears as a featured artist at International Horn Society workshops and International Women’s Brass conferences and with artists such as Emmanuel Ax, Eric Owens, Christoph Eschenbach, Yannick Nezet Seguin, among others.
As a chamber musician Ms. Montone has performed with the Bay Chamber Concerts, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music festival, the Bellingham Music Festival, the Spoleto (Italy) Chamber Music Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival.
In May 2006 Ms. Montone was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. She is also the winner of the 1996 Paxman Young Horn Player of the Year Award in London and the 1998 Philadelphia Concerto Soloists Competition. She was a fellow in the Tanglewood Music Festival Orchestra in 1996 and 1997. Ms. Montone is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with Julie Landsman, principal horn of the Metropolitan Opera. A native of northern Virginia, Ms. Montone studied with Edwin Thayer, principal horn of the National Symphony, as a fellow in the Symphony’s Youth Fellowship Program.
One of the many Canadian magician horn players in the world who was raised on a pig farm with opera singing parents, Jeff Nelsen has thrilled audiences and inspired students for over twenty years. He toured and recorded for 8 years with the world famous ensemble Canadian Brass, has performed concerti with orchestras on five continents, and has played in the horn sections of dozens of symphonies including Chicago, Boston, Montreal, National, St. Louis, and Cincinnati, as well as the New York Philharmonic. Jeff played the full run of two of Broadway’s most expensive flops.
Jeff is Professor of Music at the prestigious Indiana University Jacob School of Music. Jeff holds his informative and entertaining Fearless Performance seminars at select locations throughout the year. Since giving his celebrated 2011 TEDx Talk about Fearless Performance, he’s been training fellow TED Talkers, athletes, and business school students into giving their own Fearless Performances as well.
Jeff gives back to the horn community by being President of the International Horn Society and on the Advisory Board of the International Horn Competition of America. Jeff has co-designed his favorite horn (Dieter Otto “180K-Jeff Nelsen” model) and his own line of mouthpieces as well. Jeff is a magician member of the “Academy of Magical Arts” at the world famous Magic Castle in Los Angeles, and will be taking IHS LA Symposium attendees to the mysterious castle on select nights between Aug 2 and 8. For more information about Jeff, go to www.jeffnelsen.com.
Brian O’Connor was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, studied Horn and music with Paul Tafoya, a leading Horn teacher and performer, and concertized as a soloist for the Albuquerque Youth Symphony and the New Mexico All State Orchestra. O’Connor studied with primary Horn teachers Robert Elworthy, Principal Horn of the Minnesota Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra; Philip Farkas at Aspen, the Principal Horn of the Chicago Symphony under Fritz Reiner; and James Stagliano, the venerable Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony for around 40 years and the professor at the New England Conservatory, which O’Connor attended on scholarship. O’Connor continued his studies at the California Institute of the Arts with internationally renowned studio solo Horn player, Vincent De Rosa, and graduated in 1973 with a BFA degree. Brian continued to study on a weekly basis for ten more years with Vincent De Rosa. O’Connor has built a unique and vibrant system of Horn playing based on all of his studies, background and professional experiences.
Brian O’Connor was Principal Horn of the American Ballet Theater Orchestra in Los Angeles for eleven years and played Principal Horn for many Broadway shows in L.A. for over twenty years including “Sweeney Todd” (recorded for PBS) and the original west coast production of “Phantom of the Opera.” He played Principal Horn with the L.A. Master Chorale, the Reno Opera, the Los Angeles Opera Repertory Theater Orchestra, the Harlem Ballet, the California Philharmonic, the New West Symphony, and the Pasadena Pops. He also played solo Horn and recorded with the Thomas Talbert Big Band and Tommy Newsom’s Jazztet. O’Connor has been a member of the Pacific Serenades, South Bay and Greek Theater Chamber Music groups for some years, and has performed in many memorable concerts of famous and newly composed chamber music that include Horn.
Mr. O’Connor has been involved in recording over 2,400 film scores in over thirty years that he has participated as a first-call Los Angeles Studio Recording Musician. Aside from playing on such movies as Titanic, Finding Nemo, War of the Worlds, Toy Story, The Bourne Identity, Field of Dreams, Always, Transformers, and The Edge, he has played Principal and Solo Horn on Miracle at St. Anna’s, Evan Almighty, Crimson Tide, The Pacifier, Dreamer, The Notebook, Flicka, Bridge to Terabithia, The Good German, Inside Man, Bruce Almighty, Lion King, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Generations, Princess Diaries, Cinderella Man, Cats and Dogs, The Scorpion King, Seabisquit, All the Pretty Horses, Austin Powers: The Spy That Shagged Me, A League of Their Own, The Rock, Polly, Beverly Hills Ninja and Down Periscope to name a few. He has been the Principal Horn on the TV shows Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Enterprise, The Young Riders, and The Carol Burnett Show. Recently he performed for the EPCOT Center music for Canada and general themes for the park as well as many musical packages for Disneyland, Disneyworld and Disneyland Tokyo. He participated in the live performance of John William’s ET on the 25th Anniversary concert at the Shrine Auditorium, which was added to the re-release of ET on the 25th Anniversary DVD release. O’Connor is one of the most recorded Horn players in the world and people in every country have heard his work including both Principal and Section performances in the live TV and Awards shows including the Academy Awards, the Emmys, the Grammy’s and the People’s Choice Awards in addition to his work for Film, TV, Record, Jingle, Live Television and Video Game recordings.
O’Connor has been Professor of Horn at UCLA for eleven years and, under his leadership, a strong national program was been built. In July 2008, O’Connor performed as a featured soloist and clinician at the 40th International Horn Society Symposium in Denver, CO.
A native of Lebanon Pennsylvania, Amy Jo Rhine was appointed by Gustavo Dudamel as Third Horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic during the 2014-15 season. A seasoned orchestral performer, she has held Principal positions with the Colorado Music Festival since 1997 and the Memphis-based IRIS orchestra since 2001. Prior to her family’s move to sunny SoCal in 2012, they spent 9 years in St Louis, MO where she enjoyed a diverse professional life teaching from her home private studio, held the adjunct faculty positions at both Webster and Maryville Universities and played regularly with the St Louis Symphony. From 1996-2001, Rhine was the Assistant Professor of Horn at Wichita State University and Principal Horn with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. Prior to that she held the Principal Horn position with the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans to which she made significant administrative contributions in that cooperative ensemble.
Rhine joined the Mountain View, CA based ensemble, QUADRE, The Voice of Four Horns in 2008. She performed on and helped produce their most recent albums, Our Time and Horns For The Holidays.
Rhine received her training from Verne Reynolds at the Eastman School of Music earning a BM degree and Performer’s Certificate and with James Decker at the University of Southern California graduating with a MM degree.
Amidst busy performance schedules, Amy Jo and her horn playing husband, Greg Roosa, reserve ample time to discover the finer points of Supercars and Super Heroes with their sons, Norty and Sutton.
Jonathan Ring, Second Horn with the San Francisco Symphony, joined the orchestra in 1991 after holding positions in the Columbus Symphony and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1983 where he was a student of Dale Clevenger. Other major teachers include Robert Fries at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Jerry Peel.
As an active chamber and recording musician, Mr. Ring is a founding member of The Bay Brass and a frequent performer around the Bay Area and on television, video game and motion picture soundtracks.
He performed at the 1995 and 2011 International Horn Society Workshops and has also toured as a member of Summit Brass. In 2003 and 2005, Mr. Ring was invited to represent the United States as a member of the “Super World Orchestra” in Japan, an ensemble comprised of top orchestral musicians from around the globe.
Mr. Ring currently serves on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he teaches horn and coaches chamber music.
His summer music activities have included the New College Music Festival, the Spoleto Festival, the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, the Colorado Philharmonic (NRO), and the Grand Teton Music Festival.
Mr. Ring is also an accomplished keyboard player and composer and, in addition to his involvement in classical music, has an avid interest in pop, rock, new age, and jazz. He also was the producer of both of the CD’s by The Bay Brass, including “Sound The Bells!” which was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2012.
Bruce Roberts plays third horn with the San Francisco Symphony, where he also played assistant principal for eight years and acting associate principal for nine. Mr. Roberts is a regular member of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and a founding member of both the Bay Brass and La Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México. As a recording artist, he can be heard on soundtracks such as Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Ernest joins the Army, and Mars Attacks. He has recently taken up repairing and building horns and hopes to have his own signature model in the near future. Mr. Roberts has been an adjunct professor of horn at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for over fifteen years.
Will Sanders was born in Venlo, the Netherlands. He started studying French horn at the age of 15 at the University Maastricht with H.Crüts and E.Penzel, and finished his studies with merit. While a student, Will Sanders was a member of the European Community Youth Orchestra, conducted by Claudio Abbado. In 1986 he became co-principal horn at the Mannheim National Opera. Two years later he won the principal horn position in the Radio Symphony Orchestra Baden/Baden – Freiburg. In 1990, he accepted the same position in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. From 1992 – 1997 he was invited to be the principal horn at the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, where he played the Siegfried Call under James Levine. In addition he worked with several of the most renowned orchestras in Europe including the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. During this period, he worked with famous conductors such as Abbado, Barenboim, Jansons, Haitink, Kleiber, Leitner, Levine, Maazel, Metha, Muti, Ozawa, Rostropowtich, Sinnopoli, and Solti.
Apart from playing orchestral music, he appeared internationally as a soloist, made several DVDs, CDs, radio recordings, and played in various chamber music ensembles such as the German Wind Soloists, Linos Ensemble, the Mullova Ensemble, and German Brass. He founded the German Horn Ensemble in 1990.
In 1995 he took over the horn class in Maastricht from Prof. Erich Penzel. In 1999 he was awarded the title of professor at the University of Music Karlsruhe, where he continues to teach the horn. From October 2012, he has been visiting professor at the Academy of Music in Krakow.
He has been the mentor of the German Youth Orchestra for 17 years and has worked with the JONDE Spanish Youth Orchestra several times. Since 2002, he has been regularly giving master classes and organizing music festivals in Brazil, where he also does a lot of outreach work for musically talented children. He has frequently taught at the Simon Bolivar Foundation in Caracas, Venuzuela, and the Neojiba project in San Salvador, Brazil.
Will Sanders has given masterclasses and conducted in countries such as the USA, Brazil, Japan, Australia, Korea, Switzerland, and throughout Europe. He is regularly invited to sit on the jury of international competitions, for example the Prague Spring Competition and Aeolus. Many of his students are playing in well-known orchestras and chamber music ensembles around the world, some have won international competitions.
One of most unique Russian musicians, Arkady Shilkloper plays French horn, flugelhorn, alpenhorn, and many more unusual wind instruments. A native of Moscow, at the age of six Arkady began playing brass instruments and studied flugelhorn at the Moscow Military Music Academy until 1974. From 1978 to 1985 he was a member of the orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre and the "Bolshoi Brass Quintet". With this world-famous ensemble and as a member of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra from 1985 to 1989 he undertook numerous worldwide concert tours. Alongside, he started playing traditional jazz with double-bass player Mikhail Karetnikov and avant-garde jazz in saxophonist Sergei Letov's band Three O (1985-1990). Since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, Shilkloper has worked independently both as a solo performer and, since 1991, with Alperin and Starostin in the Moscow Art Trio and in other formations. In 1994 he played with Lionel Hampton, Elvin Jones, Lew Soloff and Herb Ellis in Idaho/USA and lectured as guest professor in Kansas City. He also has worked with Pierre Favre's Singing Drums, Louis Sclavis, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Jon Christensen and in Christian Muthspiels' Octet Ost . Since 1997, he also plays in two Russian trios: one with St.Petersburg's best jazzmen - acoustic bassist Vladimir Volkov and piano player Andrei Kondakov and the other with Volkov and Sergei Starostin. He also participates in international project like Swiss musician John Wolf Brennan's Pago Libre and records as a guest musician with bands like Vienna Art Orchestra. Shilkloper is in demand as a soloist and a teacher for brass instrument workshops and symposia the world over. www.shilkloper.com
Jim Thatcher is arguably the most heard horn player in the world, having recorded as principal horn on over 3500 projects. These recordings include major motion pictures, television shows, and with many legends of the music world.
Recipient of the Most Valuable Player Award from the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, Jim is the favored first horn of Oscar-winning composer John Williams, performing in such films as Always, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, JFK, Home Alone and Rosewood. He received on-screen mentions for his performances in Sleepers and Amistad.
Jim’s stature as an orchestral player was recently underlined during his time as Guest Principal horn with the London Symphony Orchestra. Following a concert, which contained one of the most famous horn solos in the repertoire, a leading newspaper reviewer wrote, "I should turn to the final work, Til Eulenspiegel. It received a truly outstanding performance; I am not sure that I have heard a better one".
It is, though, as the world’s leading movie horn player that Jim is best known. In addition to John Williams, he has worked with such Hollywood greats as Jerry Goldsmith, James Newton Howard, Randy Newman, John Barry, James Horner, and Alan Silvestri. He can be heard in tracks like Frozen, Avatar, Glory, The Rocketeer, Field of Dreams, Monster House, Ice Age, Polar Express, Dances with Wolves, Toy Story, Cars, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Titanic, The Simpsons Movie, Night at the Museum, King Kong, and Hook. In addition, Jim has played principal horn on nearly 20 Academy Awards shows, the Emmys, and the Grammys.
He began his professional career at the age of 16, playing and studying in Mexico City with his uncle, Gerald Thatcher, former principal hornist with the National Symphony of Mexico. In his early twenties, Jim played with the Utah and Phoenix Symphonies. From there, he moved to Los Angeles, where he was to become principal horn in the Hollywood recording studios. His work there also led to his performing with musical icons such as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Kenny Rogers, Harry Connick Jr., Sting, Carol King, Perry Como, Chris Botti, Julio Iglesias, Andrea Bochelli, Howard Keel, Luciano Pavarotti, Michael Jackson, Mel Torme, Sheena Easton, Michael Buble, Madonna, Beyonce, Bjork and Kenny G.
A former principal horn with LA Opera, Pacific Symphony, Opera Pacifica, Glendale Symphony, American Ballet Theater Orchestra, Royal Danish Ballet Orchestra, Bolshoi Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet, Jim has also played guest principal and soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony and London Symphony Orchestras. He is currently principal of the Pasadena Symphony and the New West Symphony.
Jim also performs annually as principal horn at Kansas’ Sunflower Festival, Cape Cod’s The Buzzards Bay Festival (in the summer of 2014, he performed Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4 at both of these), and St. Bart’s Festival in the French West Indies. These festivals have orchestras comprised of members of the Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Pittsburgh Symphonies as well as the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition, he has played principal horn in the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival for twenty-one years, the Ojai Festival, and the Bowdoin Festival in Maine.
Jim is also a highly sought after horn teacher. Formerly on the staff at the University of Southern California (USC), he is now professor of horn at Azusa Pacific University. He has also taught at the Music Academy of the West. His own teachers have included Fred Fox, Don Peterson, Wendell Hoss, James Decker, Vincent DeRosa, and Hermann Baumann.
In the spring of 2015, Jim will be premiering a four-horn concerto by James Horner with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He is currently finishing a recording of Strauss’ Concerto No. 2, which will be made available on CD and his upcoming website, along with other solos and tips on studio-style recording. His CD Now Playing has been on Amazon’s “Top Ten Must Have Horn CDs.”
James Horner states, “I write differently when I know Jim is in the orchestra.” John Williams wrote about Jim, "I treasure the many years of our collaboration. Through those years you consistently brought color, imagination and life to every note that I've been privileged to ask you to play, and musically and artistically, I will always be in your debt.”
From Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl, from the Jazz Bakery to Birdland, internationally renowned concert, jazz and recording artist Richard Todd has earned acclaim as one of the finest horn soloists today. Gold medal winner of the 1980 Concours Internationale Toulon, he is a Pro Musicis International Foundation Award winner and is continually expanding the boundaries of the horn world. Rick has performed under the batons of such luminaries as Leonard Bernstein, Carlo Guilini, Sir Neville Marriner, Maurice Abravanel, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Helmuth Rilling and Gunther Schuller. His performances are described as “simply startling in their dexterity” and he is praised for his “heart-clutching sound.”
Equally at home in all styles, Rick breaks down the barriers of music. As a classical artist, his rigorous schedule includes recitals and solo engagements across North America, work in the film industry (he has over 2,000 motion picture soundtracks to his credit) and recording projects with many top artists. Rick is also principal horn of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, of which he has been a frequent soloist and member since 1980. He has appeared as guest soloist with orchestras in the United States and abroad. In 2006, he performed at the Sydney Opera House on a concert tour of Australia. He has also made numerous festival appearances worldwide. As a jazz artist, he has appeared in concerts and recordings with today’s best musicians. He is the only horn soloist who has performed at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Sydney Opera House and Walt Disney Concert Hall, receiving standing ovations at all venues.
Rick’s recordings showcase his versatility. He made two CDs with André Previn, and Gunther Schuller personally selected Rick to record his Concerto No. 1 for Horn and Orchestra with the Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra. Rick’s solo albums, New Ideas (a crossover album of both classical and jazz) and Rickterscale, prompted him to step into the spotlight as a “star among jazz hornists.” More recently, he recorded an album entitled Horn Sonatas of Three Centuries; a jazz album, With A Twist; and Craig Russell’s Rhapsody for Horn and Orchestra with the San Luis Obispo Symphony, commissioned by that orchestra specifically for him.
Deeply committed to music education, Rick was among the most sought-after teachers on the faculty at USC and the Henry Mancini Institute, where he now serves on the Advisory Committee. He is currently professor of horn at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music as well as artistic director of the Frost Chamber Players. He has also taught at UCLA, CalArts, and the Chatauqua and Bowdoin music festivals. Additionally, he was recently a guest faculty member at Indiana University. Rick believes in music as an important form of communication and works to expand the horizons of all audiences. He has performed in hospitals, shelters, retirement homes and prisons.
Rick is in constant demand as a lecturer and clinician. As a spokesperson and consultant for Hans Hoyer Horns, he assists in the development of horn and mouthpiece designs.
A native of Roseville, MN, Denise Tryon joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2009 as fourth horn. Previously the fourth horn of the Detroit Symphony (2003-2009), she has also held positions with the Baltimore (2000-2003), Columbus (1998-2000), and New World (1995-1998) Symphonies and has participated in the Colorado Music Festival and the Pacific Music Festival. An accomplished solo performer, Tryon has performed recitals in Sweden, Norway, Poland, Japan, and the United States.
“Denise Tryon’s command of the lower register provides the strongest foundation of sound for a horn section, and yet, her sound is supple and flexible.” —Yannick Nezet-Sequin, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra
In 1989 Tryon graduated from the famed Interlochen Arts Academy and in 1993 received her Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston. She received the Presidential Scholarship while in the Artist Diploma Program at NEC with the Taiyo Wind Quintet, which won the Coleman Chamber Competition and worked with great composers such as John Harbison, Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, and Elliott Carter.
An active and accomplished educator, Tryon is sought after for her masterclasses. She has taught extensively in the United States, Scandinavia, Europe and Asia. Beth Graham of the Warsaw Philharmonic and founder of the Warsaw Horn Workshops raves, “In just a few seconds of listening to a student she can diagnose deep-seated problems and give immediate fixes, often with a healthy dose of humor as well. The transformations she can accomplish in just a short time are truly remarkable.”
In 2009, Tryon founded Audition Mode, a yearly horn seminar, with Karl Pituch. In 2010 she was an International Horn Society (IHS) Northeast Workshop Featured Artist. She was a contributing artist at the IHS Symposium in San Francisco in 2011, as well as one of the Solo Artists at the Nordic Hornfest in Norway in 2012. She was on the horn faculty at BIBA (Blekinge International Brass Academy) in Sweden in 2013, as well as one of the Solo Artists at the Warsaw Horn Workshops that same year. In 2014, Tryon was a Featured Artist at the IHS MidNorth Horn Workshop. Since 2007 she has served on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.
Jessica Valeri has held the position of Fourth Horn with the San Francisco Symphony since 2008, and was previously a member of the Saint Louis Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Grant Park Orchestra, and the Milwaukee Ballet . She spent many years freelancing in the Chicago area in which she performed with a wide variety of groups such as the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and the International Contemporary Ensemble.
Ms. Valeri, a Minnesota native, started playing the horn at age 9. After studying with Doug Hill at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ms. Valeri went on to earn her Graduate degree and Performance Certificate from Northwestern University as a student of Gail Williams, Bill Barnewitz, and Norman Schweikert.
Ms. Valeri has participated in many recording projects including a Grammy-nominated recording, “Sound the Bells”, with the Bay Brass, and several albums with the Millar Brass Ensemble. During the summers, she is a frequent participant with the Grand Teton Music Festival. She currently is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and serves as a coach for the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. When not playing the horn, you will find her hiking the many trails of San Francisco with her dog Sophie, practicing yoga, and cooking for friends with her husband and fellow San Francisco Symphony musician Jonathan Vinocour.
Robert Ward, hornist, has been a part of the Bay Area classical music scene since he joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1980 as Associate Principal Horn and played in the inaugural concert for Davies Symphony Hall. Since September 2007 he has held the position of Principal Horn, and has performed across the United States, Europe and Asia with the San Francisco Symphony while on tour. He can be heard on many of the San Francisco Symphony's CDs, most notably playing solo horn in the San Francisco Symphony's complete Mahler cycle, released on SFS Media, as well as the San Francisco Symphony's Emmy-winning television production of "Sweeney Todd.” In June of 2014, he appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony performing Benjamin Britten’s "Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings".
He has appeared at the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin, the Colorado Music Festival, and while at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, gave the world premiere of Avram David's "Sonata for Solo Horn." Also at Tanglewood he was given the C.D. Jackson Master Award and the Harry Shapiro Award for outstanding brass player.
A founding member of the Grammy-nominated symphonic brass group, The Bay Brass, Mr. Ward also has engaged in a number of recording activities outside the orchestra, making music with such diverse performers as Paul McCandless, Spencer Brewer, Ed Bogas, Raquel Bitton, Lisa Vroman, and the heavy metal rock group Metallica. He can also be heard on several movie soundtracks, most notably "Spy Kids," "Mars Attacks." "Inspector Gadget," and "Ricochet."
He also composes and arranges music - his Quartet for Horns was given its premiere at the International Horn Society Conference in Eugene, Oregon in 1996, and his "Sound of the Sea" and "And All the Sea Sang" for chorus and solo horn have been performed with the San Francisco Choral Artists. He is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has in the past taught at Dalhousie University, Acadia University and San Francisco State University.
A native of Schenectady, NY, he received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 1977, studying with Robert Fries, and has held two professional positions prior to his current post. He was a member of the Atlantic Symphony of Halifax, Nova Scotia (now known as Symphony Nova Scotia), and also played for one year with the Denver Symphony (now the Colorado Symphony).
Gail Williams is an internationally recognized hornist and brass pedagogue. She has presented concerts, master classes, recitals and lectures throughout North America, as well as in Europe and Asia. Ms. Williams joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in December 1978, and was appointed Associate Principal Horn in 1984, a position she held until her retirement from the orchestra in 1998. She has been a member of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, and is currently principal horn of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra. As featured horn soloist, Ms. Williams has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Sinfonia da Camera, New World Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony, Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and a number of regional orchestras.
Since 2005, Ms. Williams has performed as Principal horn with the World Orchestra for Peace ( WOP) with Maestro Gergiev, concerts in London, Berlin, Moscow, Beijing, Budapest, Rotterdam, Brussels, Jerusalem, Krakow Stockholm. Salzburg, Abu Dhabi, New York City, and Chicago. In the summer of 2010, Ms. Williams performed Live on BBC with WOP in London, Mahler Symphony #5 and also July 2014 in London, live BBC, performing Mahler Symphony 6.
Ms. Williams is also dedicated to performing and promotion chamber music. She is a founding member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians; a critically acclaimed chamber music ensemble which has commissioned and performed works for their Millennium concert series and the CCM’s concert series. A CD of all Mozart works, including the Horn quintet, was nominated for a Grammy in 2006. Gail is also an original member of the Summit Brass, an ensemble with whom she has made eight recordings. Most recently, Gail performed and recorded with the National Brass Ensemble, comprised of top US brass musicians. Gail has also perform with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, The Skaneateles Music Festival, Sante Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Olympic Peninsula Chamber Festival and was the featured artist on a chamber music series in Ottawa, Canada with the National Arts Orchestra of Canada.
In addition to her recordings with Summit Brass, Ms. Williams can be heard on her solo recordings, 20th Century Settings and Deep Remembering, Conversations with Friends, Mozart and Brahms Wind and String chamber music, which are available on Summit Records. An additional solo CD has been released by Northwestern University, Goddess Triology, featuring compositions by John McCabe and two works for horn percussion by Charles Taylor and Eric Wilder. In the spring of 2011, Ms. Williams released a CD of four commissioned works, HORN MUSE, available on CD baby.
Ms. Williams has played an active role in commissioning projects and performing contemporary solo works for the horn. She has premiered Deep Remembering by Dana Wilson, Anthony Plog’s Postcards Japan. In 1997, Dana Wilson’s Horn Concerto with the Syracuse Symphony. performed the Second performance of the Knussen Horn Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Knussen. She was part of a consortium for Yehudi Wyner’s Horn Trio, and was involved in the orchestration of Dragons in the Sky by Mark Schultz. Ms. Williams premiered another horn and piano work by Dana Wilson, Musings, in 2003 (recorded on HORN MUSE),Gail performed the US premier of a concerto for Horn and Orchestra by Collins Matthews and In June 2012, Ms. Williams premiered and commissioned concerto by James Stephenson at the IHS Symposium in Denton, Texas.
Ms. Williams has given master classes and recitals around the world, working with musicians at Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Curtiss Institute, Colburn Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, New England Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, the New World Symphony, Eastman School of Music, Boston Conservatory, Rice University, University of Houston, University of Illinois, Sam Houston University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and the NAC Orchestra (Ottawa), Music Hochschule of Frankfurt, Germany. In 2013-14, Ms. Williams gave masterclasses in Copenhagen, Denmark and in Lima, Peru. In 1998-2000 Ms. Williams was invited to be on the faculty of Swiss Brass Week in Leukerbad, Switzerland. since 1980, Ms. Williams has been a featured recitalist and lecturer at the International Horn Society Workshops in the United States, Canada, Japan and Germany. In 2001,2005 and 2009, Gail has served as one the judges for the Horn Solo Competition in Porcia, Italy.
Gail Williams is the horn professor at Northwestern University, where she has been on the faculty since 1989. In May of 2005, Ms. Williams received the Charles Deering McCormick Teaching Professorship. With the award, she has commissioned and performed three new chamber works for horn and mixed instruments by Douglas Hill, Dana Wilson and Augusta Reed Thomas. Ms. Williams studied with John Covert at Ithaca College, and received a master’s degree from Northwestern University. Her awards from Ithaca College include the Ithaca College’s Young Distinguished Alumni Award and an honorary doctorate of music. www.gailwilliamshorn.com
“The horn is for boys”, Sarah Willis' schoolteacher told her, and so he suggested that she learn the flute or the oboe. That remark served as a challenge to the US-born Brit, who grew up in Tokyo, Boston, Moscow, and London. Her first horn lessons were at the age of 14. After studying for three years on the Performer's Course at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Sarah continued her training with Fergus McWilliam in Berlin.
From 1991 to 2001, she was a member of Staatskapelle Berlin. In 2001 Sarah Willis became the first female brass player to be accepted into the ranks of the Berlin Philharmonic. Sarah has performed with other leading orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she has appeared as a soloist all over the world. Sarah has also recorded various acclaimed CDs which include works by Johannes Brahms and Anton Rosetti. Her most recent album Horn Discoveries was released at the 2014 International Horn Symposium in London.
Sarah is involved in many of the Berlin Philharmonic education projects and especially enjoys creating and presenting Family Concerts. She also interviews conductors and soloists for the Digital Concert Hall. Sarah is passionate about music education and makes full use of digital technology and social media to reach audiences world-wide. A regular broadcaster and interviewer for TV and online, Sarah fronts the classical music program Sarah´s Music for Deutsche Welle TV.
Andrej Žust was born in 1984 in Logatec, Slovenia, where he had his first horn lessons with Janez Polanc. Later he went to Boštjan Lipovšek at the Ljubljana Music Academy. The young horn player also received artistic encouragement from such renowned musicians as Hermann Baumann, Frøydis Ree Wekre, Viktor Malisch and Radovan Vlatkovič. While still a student he received the Lucijan-Marija-Škerjanc and Prešeren prizes for his artistic abilities. He then went on to win the first prize at numerous national and international competitions, including Povoletto (Italy) in 2001 and the Young Musicians Competition in Slovenia in 2002.
In May 2004 he was appointed principal horn in the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra in Ljubljana. Žust has also been a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra. An active chamber-music player, he belongs to the Ariart Wind Quintet, the Soloists of the Ljubljana Chamber Orchestra and the Trio Triumvirat. From February 2009 to January 2011 he was a scholar of the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchestra Academy. At the beginning of the 2011/2012 season, Andrej Žust joined the orchestra’s horn section.